Why I Coach—Sowa Imoisili

Sowa I., an expert Leland coach and Stanford MBA/Co-Class President, outlines why she chooses to coach and what it means to her.

Sowa I.

By Sowa I.

Posted August 22, 2022

I hold a deep-seated belief that we are all more capable than we think we are. Through coaching, my goal is to help people realize this. I believe that by separating giant challenges into bite-sized steps, we can surprise ourselves with what we can accomplish.

I have been teaching and coaching for several years. I have taught in the Czech Republic and Hong Kong; tutored in Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, and DC; and coached students in undergraduate admissions in the US, Canada, China and Singapore. A few years ago, after returning to the US from teaching abroad, I began working as a management consultant. While the work was interesting, and I was gaining experience across a multitude of industries, I wanted to do more. So, I decided to apply to business school.

As I was still working full time, the application process quickly became overwhelming. Where should I start? What did I need to research? How could I get ahead so that there wouldn’t be too many sleepless nights leading into deadline season? As someone who had studied economics, psychology, and creative writing in my undergraduate degree, I was surprised that the writing and storytelling did not come as naturally as I thought it would.

I made progress but struggled to feel like I had everything in balance. There was always something new to change - a sentence I wanted to rephrase, a comma I wanted to shift. How could I know when I was done? My concern led me to long hours rereading my essays trying to figure out why it wasn’t sounding as poignant as I needed it to. After hours of staring, I would shift a sentence and call it. I was not using my time to the best of my ability.

At a certain point, it became clear that I needed another pair of eyes on my work. While I was lucky to have supportive friends and family who were willing to help, some parts of my story were so personal that I wanted a neutral third party’s insight instead. As a result, I found a coach, and the difference was night and day. Not only was I able to strengthen my story and use words that more clearly articulated the parts of myself that I wanted to share, but I also began using my time much more effectively. At the end of the application cycle, I had seven offers of admission and multiple full rides. Ultimately, I chose to attend my dream school: Stanford Graduate School of Business.

After spending time at the GSB and building relationships with my classmates and professors, I am more aware than ever of the doors that business school can open. I want others to also realize that they are capable of anything. My goal with coaching is to help students build their confidence, clarity, and courage as they push towards making their dreams a reality.

Interested in working together on your MBA application? Click here for my Leland coaching profile.

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